Keeping Seniors in Their Own Homes

Imagine a world where, because of your age or disability, going outside is too demanding to consider - a world in which you can't seem to keep your personal and financial matters in order.

If you are concerned for a relative or friend who is grappling with these issues, the first instinct might be to look for alternative living situations. However, a change of living environment may be disorienting to senior citizens. The good news is often there is no need to move since the world can come to them!

At Eddy & Schein, one of the aspects to our business is helping senior clients and their families think through relocating and explore what it would take to remain at home. While it will involve home visits from professionals, the advantages are enormous.

Home Sweet Home
Did you know that you could get a hair dresser who will come to the home? Also, a manicurist, dentist, voice coach, and art therapist? These are just a few of the resources we will talk about in this article.

But, first, the primary goal is to make sure that seniors are both physically and financially secure. This can be done by hiring people such as:

Simplify financial holdings and streamline processes. Key professionals in this area are:

  • Financial Organizers/Daily Money Managers - Most, like Eddy & Schein, work in clients' homes and all help keep papers organized and bills paid, submit and monitor health insurance claims, and keep other team members up to date.
  • Bankers - It is crucial to appoint someone to have limited Power of Attorney over bank accounts. Taking care of this while the senior is able to sign the bank papers makes the process relatively simple. However, if this has not been done, banks must honor the Durable Power of Attorney. (You may need to speak to a branch manager and may need to involve an attorney.)
  • Investment Advisors - The person holding the Power of Attorney (as well as the senior, if possible) should work with their investment advisors to consolidate assets and set up the best investment strategy for the current and long-term situation of the senior. Ask the advisor to meet in the home.
  • Tax Accountants - You may find that seniors who were once very organized have, as a result of illness or debilitating issues, not kept up with tax preparation. Use the senior's accountant to review the situation, or find one who will visit the home.
  • Notary Public - There may be documents that need to be notarized. With persistence, you can find one that will come to the home, although there may be an additional fee. If there is no current photo I.D., a number of old I.D.s and seeing the client in the home may make it easier for a Notary to notarize documents in good conscience. Notaries may be found in law offices, banks, real estate offices, and even neighborhood businesses. Many Daily Money Managers are also notaries.
  • For a complete list of resources to help seniors stay at home, including Caregiving and Medical Supervision, Legal Affairs and Documents, Medical, and Social, click here. If you are having trouble locating any of these resources, call us and we may be able to offer some recommendations.

You may also want to look at our March 2011 feature, "Keeping Senior Citizens Connected" for great ideas to help seniors stay involved with life and mentally stimulated.

When elderly people reach a point where mental or physical ailments keep them from engaging in activities outside of the home, it is easy to assume that the decline will continue. Fortunately, with the right support in place (and sometimes it takes trial and error), seniors can actually improve and live their lives with less physical pain, more mobility, and greater social and intellectual engagement.

September 2011 - FEATURE
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